SWANSBORO, ONSLOW COUNTY -

Swansboro is getting its first overnight public boat dock. It took years of planning, but town officials said the dock should be ready by this summer.  

Town Manager David Harvell said it took about five years to plan, but now they're seeing those plans become a reality.

“Just imagine there's a whole basically I-95 coming through Swansboro and there's no place for these larges vessels to actually spend the night," Harvell said.

The town is building off of an existing dock and expanding it out into the water. They plan to build ten boat slips big enough to hold large boats.  

Silver Hal owns Salt Water Grill and the dock they're building off of. Hal said he's been working to get a dock for large boats in the town for 15 years.

“Makes me feel very good, it’s not just going to benefit me it’s going to benefit the whole town,” Hal said.

Hal agreed to lease his dock to the town for the next 20 years

Harvell hopes this will be big impact on the economic development for Swansboro.

“Without this partnership the dock wouldn't take place. Just imagine the 10 vessels coming through here, parking in Swansboro, eating at our restaurants, and shopping in our downtown places,” Harvell said.

Commissioners approved a budget earlier this month in order to allow construction to begin. The project costs $244,000. $100,000 of the cost is covered by a grant, and the rest by tax dollars.

Boats will be able to dock for up to ten days. Harvell said it will have full electric, water, sewer, and cable TV. Due to this, Harvell said there will be a charge per foot of the boat

The town hopes to have the dock ready by the end of May, just in time for summer tourists.